Monday, March 1, 2010

The 20 Mile Monkey is Off My Back

Since I started my marathon training plan back in November, I always dreaded the three 20 mile runs that were on the schedule. The first two 20 milers happen to hit while I was recovering from the groin injury, so I was never really faced with running them. Last week was a different story...I have been back to running for 3 weeks and completed the SRLA 18 mile run the week before. (Click here for race report) That 18 mile run didn't go so well. I started out too fast, I had hydration issues that led to cramping and the socks I was wearing were just not comfortable. Looking at my schedule, I had 5 days to figure out what was wrong and prepare for Saturday's 20 mile run. I sought advice from several trusted people and we came up with a plan that included new socks with more cushion, salt stick and a much slower pace. I was watching the weather all week and the forecast called for rain most of Saturday and since I was running the Firecracker 10K on Sunday morning, I couldn't switch the 20 miler to Sunday. I planned out two loops starting from home, the first was to the West and was 12 miles and the second was an 8 mile loop to the East. I decided that if it was raining, I could stop after the first 12 miles, change shoes, sock, clothes and reload the water bottles.

I woke up about 6am to pouring rain and didn't really want to get up and run in it, but I HTFU and got ready to go. I walked out the door at 7am in a light rain. By the time I got to mile 1, the rain had stopped and I shed my rain jacket. Everything was going well until mile 6, when the sky opened up and it just poured. I put the rain jacket back on and just slogged through. My shoes and socks were soaked, but I felt really good. I arrived home after mile 12 and changed, grabbed a PB&J and headed back out. It was raining pretty good, but the sky to the west was blue...but I was heading east. Thankfully the storm moved faster than I did and I was able to run 7 of the 8 miles without rain. When I crossed 18.40 miles, I was in uncharted territory and was unsure of what would happen. Surprisingly...nothing, I just kept moving along at my slow pace and finished the 20 miles. When it was all said and done I ran 20.17 miles in 4:01:39 (11:58/mile). I felt much better than last week's 18 miles, but between the socks, salt stick and slowing made all the difference. Could I have gone another 6.2 miles? Maybe, but that test will come in less than 3 weeks. The next morning, I ran the Firecracker 10K in Chinatown...look for that race report tomorrow.


Ms. V. said...

wow! i'm so jealous!

Glenn Jones said...

Bob - great seeing you las weekend. Sorry that things kind of got jumbled up with dim sum - I think the original reservation was for 10 people, but the folks at the restaurant just seated us at a table that fit us. Hm.

Glad that your groin seems to be healed up! See you at L.A. Marathon. Hmmm. We need to think about a plan for an A.M. tweetup. Might be tough finding folks - needles in haystacks and all that...